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Hospital continues care for community during pandemic


By Mark Hofmann


January, 17, 2021

While COVID-19 deaths are on the rise in Fayette County, WVU Medicine Uniontown Hospital is beginning to see numbers of patients with the virus go down.

“Thankfully, we have seen our COVID-19 inpatient numbers stabilize significantly over the last 10 days from a peak of as many as 80 inpatients right after Christmas to a daily average between 30 and 35 currently,” said Josh Krysak, the director of community relations at the hospital. “Our staff has done an exceptional job of getting so many COVID patients cared for and on the road to recovery.”

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, six more Fayette County residents died from COVID-19, according to their Friday report, bringing the number of deaths in the county to 172 as well as an additional 56 cases reported that brings the county’s total to 8,850.

Fayette County Commissioner Dave Lohr said while he feels bad when hearing the numbers come out of Fayette County, he doesn’t believe the county is out of line from other counties because COVID-19 numbers come in spurts and waves.

Krysak said the significant increase in COVID-19 deaths in the county came as the hospital staff saw widespread community transmission in the weeks leading up to and around Thanksgiving, with so many people testing positive and getting sick.

“Hopefully, we’ll be flat soon and then have none at all,” Lohr said, adding that people should still be washing their hands, wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

Krysak said while the pandemic has been a challenge for everyone at the hospital, they have been able to maintain the care upon which the community counts.

“Even as we keep working through the daily challenges, patients can rest assured that we are safe and ready to care for them,” Krysak said, adding that patients shouldn’t delay needed test or lab work. “We are able to balance all of the routine needs of our patients while continuing to care for our inpatients, be they COVID-19 patients or otherwise.”

Krysak added that the hospital offers full diagnostic services at both the hospital and their Outpatient Diagnostic Center near Walmart.

Although things have leveled off at the hospital, he said they are always monitoring testing and positivity trends and are prepared should cases spike again.

“The next week or two will be a barometer for us--if that next wave is still to come or not,” he said.

He said the hospital continues to ask all area residents to take the steps necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones from spreading the virus.

“With these continued mitigation techniques and as we start to begin to get more and more area residents vaccinated, we can hopefully begin to take back control from this terrible virus,” Krysak said.